My Present Past
A genealogical experience
Marseilles, Illinois
By October 01, 1852 the forty mile segment between Chicago and Joliet was almost ready for opening. Some
rail had yet to be laid. From Joliet to Morris, approximately 20 miles, less than a mile of grading remained until
track laying could be begun. Only a small section remained to be graded between Morris and Marseilles and less
than four miles had yet to be graded between Marseilles and Peru.
The original Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Depot in Marseilles was constructed in 1867. The depot was a
locally significant transportation hub which facilitated the shipment of people and goods to and from Marseilles
along the Rock Island and LaSalle Line, which became the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. The railroad,
which parallels the Illinois-Michigan Canal from Chicago to Peru, brought an end to passenger service along the
canal due to its success. The small wooden station was replaced in 1917 after citizens in
the city won a 40 year battle with the railroad and the U.S. Circuit Court ordered a new station be built.
The  second station was in operation until 1974 and was sold to a private business owner in 1984.
The present Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Depot in Marseilles was added to the National Register of
Historic Places on November 7, 1995.
Lovell Kimball arrived at the area along the Illinois River known as the
Grand Rapids in 1833 from Watertown, New York.
Kimball, aware that the Illinois-Michigan Canal Bill had passed and the
canal would eventually reach the rapids, hired a surveyor to lay out a town.

Kimball called the town Marseilles, under the impression that Marseilles,
France was an industrial center the likes of which he hoped to attain in
Illinois. Marseilles was officially platted on June 3, 1835; the plat was
revised twice for railroad and canal right-of-ways.

In this section you will meet friends and co-workers of Edward and Sadie
Engel. Edward was an operator at the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific depot
in Marseilles, Illinois. I have also included the 1877 Past and Present of
La Salle County, Illinois by H F Kett, that includes the section on
Marseilles, Illinois
1877 Past & Present
La Salle County Illinois Pg 328
1877 Past & Present
La Salle County Illinois Pg 341
1877 Past & Present
La Salle County Illinois Pg 329
1877 Past & Present
La Salle County Illinois Pg 340
Click on an image to view full size
Edward J Engel was one of the operators at the original Chicago Rock Island & Pacific depot at Marseilles,
Illinois from 1877 to 1878. The guest book image above was to his wife, Sara Ellyn "Sadie" Engel on
Christmas Day in 1877. They were married
August 17, 1876 in Wyanet, Bureau County, Illinois.
Sadie was the daughter of
David Thomas Nichols, of Wyanet, Illinois
Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Depot in Marseilles, Illinois, built in 1917